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A Short Stay in Hell Paperback – March 23, 2012
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An irresistible invention. Peck has somehow squeezed all of human experience, not to mention near-infinite expanses of space and time, into one miraculously slim novella. You won t be able to stop thinking about this book. ---- Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac and Maphead
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More About the Author
He is the author of 'The Scholar of Moab,' a finalist for the Montaigne Medal, published by Torrey House Press, and the author of 'A Short Stay in Hell, published by Strange Violins Editions. He has a juvenile fantasy called the Rift of Ryme, to be published in June 2012 by Cedar Fort Press.
This year he was nominated for the 2011 Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award for the poem, "The five known sutras of mechanical man," published in Tales of the Talisman.
He received first place in the Warp and Weave Science Fiction Competition and received Honorable Mention in the 2011 Brookie and D.K. Brown Fiction Contest
His short stories have been included in Daily Science Fiction, H.M.S. Beagle, and Warp and Weave, and his science fiction novella, Let the Mountains Tremble for the Adoni have Fallen, was published in October by Peculiar Press. Poetry by Peck has appeared in Bellowing Ark, Dialogue, Glyphs III, Irreantum, Pedestal Magazine, Red Rock Review, Tales of the Talisman, Victorian Violet Press, and Wilderness Interface Zone. A chapbook of Peck's poetry, Flyfishing in Middle Earth, was published by the American Tolkien Society. A selection of his poetry was included in the anthology, Fire in the Pasture. Peck was selected as the second-place winner in the 2011 Eugene England Memorial Essay Contest.
Top Customer Reviews
It's not an easy one to classify. It's fiction, sure, but there's a bit of satire, a bit of philosophy, a bit of horror, a bit of everything, really. The writing is sparse and careful, setting the mood as well as the descriptions do. For me, it was a pretty claustrophobic read. Since the book takes place only in this version of hell that the author has created for us, with unending stacks of books and almost infinite corridors and floors, there is an oppressive atmosphere to the story. The reader begins to feel trapped. Quite scary and therefore, effectively done.
The book will provoke you to ask yourself questions about life, about theology and what it means to believe in our heavens and hells, so this is not a light read, although it is a short novel. I can recommend this easily, since I enjoyed it very much. Once you start it, it's a tough one to put down.
I am not disappointed. A Short Stay in Hell is a mind-game. You may begin it with the thought that you're getting a wry, darkly amusing anecdote about how things seldom turn out the way we expect, but then the story takes a turn toward looking at human nature, society, religion, love, cruelty...all while the narrator keeps a streak of dark, dry humor and a touch of carefully cultivated detachment and jadedness that don't quite sit as comfortably on the narrator as he'd like us to believe. The guy's in Hell, both literally and figuratively, and it's not just that he didn't think HE would ever be there, but it's not anything like WHAT he had ever imagined. And hell lingers. In this case, it lingers in your own mind as you find yourself pondering the story days and weeks later.
It's the most engaging -- and bizarre -- story I've read lately, and I look forward to more work from this author. That it was only $2.99 for the e-book factored in my decision to buy it, but the author is underselling himself. It's well worth the regular Kindle edition price.
If you're a fan of Night Gallery, Hitchcock, or The Twilight Zone, you probably will enjoy this novella.
How much of what we do here is selfish? How much time do we waste, searching for meaning in gibberish? Why do we treat loved ones so casually? And what is time, anyway? (Symborska's line - "Life, however long, is short/Too short for anything to be added" - ran through my head as I considered the academicians in Hell, pouring over meaningless texts, holding convocations and giving one another awards, for centuries and centuries and centuries.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the most disturbing book I have ever read, relentless in its probing of the mind numbing monotony of infinite existence. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Stephen H. Webb
This was a very intriguing book. What amazed me most was how deftly Peck was able to draw out very deep, complex emotions in me, the reader, in only 102 pages. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Steven L Peck's "A Short Stay in Hell" is in that "just right" area of being insightful and in-depth such that I don't feel I am reading fluff, but not so dense and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Belinda
I will go ahead and start with the truth: this is easily one of the bleakest books I’ve ever read. However, it is also exceptionally interesting, very well-written, and not... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
A Short Stay in Hell by Stephen L. Peck is a landmark existential horror novel that is a must read for every Latter-day Saint. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a wonderful read. Makes you reevaluate what you believe Hell might be.Published 4 months ago by thatonegirl
i really enjoyed this story. short and beautiful and terrible. want to understand the concept of eternity and hell? read this.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Another way out Science fiction that was really far out. Kept reading to see if got any more understandable, but no luck. Can't really recommend it.Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
A Short Stay in Hell is about a faithful Mormon man who ends up in Zoroastrian Hell when he dies. Having followed the “wrong religion” all of his life, he is condemned to a giant... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sarah Seeley